leafy tree with moonlight and long roots
"Halo" Acrylic on Canvas 10"x10" by Aura Lesnjak

Do you ever have a feeling or emotion that you just need to throw onto your canvas or paper, but feel restricted by some self-imposed technical painting process you need to follow?

Up until very recently, I was falling into this trap, and painting was just starting to feel like a chore.

As someone who spent my early art career painting mostly animals and portraits, I got into a rhythm of photo reference reliance and exactitude and I lost any sense that I was communicating any feelings.

...continue reading "How Painting a New Subject Can Revive Your Creativity"

Glorious Desert Sunset Watercolor PaintingIf you love bright, colorful landscapes then check out this latest watercolor tutorial I created!

It's a fun project that can be completed in an afternoon, and it's suitable for beginning watercolorists.

You don't need a photo reference either, since you can invent your own sunsets, mountain shapes, and palm tree silhouettes.

...continue reading "Painting a Bold Desert Sunset in Watercolor"

Paint bold dramatic watercolors through glazingHello artists!

I am happy to have completed my latest online art course Painting Boldly with Watercolors: The Glazing Technique.

In this course, I lay out step-by-step how to paint the yellow rose featured on the left by layering multiple thin glazes of color.

This is how I approach most of my watercolor paintings and how I achieve my deep tones and brilliant colors.

(Although I haven't gone over this technique very much in my blog, if you have signed up for my mailing list and received the free Watercolor Poppies tutorial, you will be more familiar with this technique.)

...continue reading "Painting Boldly With Watercolors – New Online Class"

blending colored pencils with color gradationColored pencils are a fun and versatile medium. They are an easy medium to begin with and are suitable for children and beginners, yet amazing realism can be achieved by a practiced artist.

I have a soft spot in my heart for colored pencils because they were my first "serious" art supply when I graduated from crayons at around age ten.

Learning how to blend them is a fundamental skill to learn with this medium, but there are several methods that can be used. In this week's tutorial, I will show you how to blend them optically by layering different colors next to and over previous layers. ...continue reading "How to Blend Colored Pencils: The Layering Technique"

Whimsical winter owl in mixed mediaHappy (almost!) Holidays!

I am very excited to be releasing my first online art instruction video! The project is this cute whimsical owl created in mixed media.

This is a self-paced class containing over 6 hours of videos broken down into 8 videos.

You will follow me and create this project from sketch to completion using watercolors, water-soluble crayons, colored pencils, acrylic paints, graphite pencil, and collage medium.

...continue reading "Online Art Course: Paint a Whimsical Owl in Mixed Media"